Friday, April 18, 2014


Transmission

Pakistani 'One-Pound-Fish Man' Takes Show On The Road, Says No U.K. Deportation

Muhammad Shahid Nazir hit the big time with his Punjabi-inflected ditty to sell fish, leading to a Warner Music video released in December (pictured).
Muhammad Shahid Nazir hit the big time with his Punjabi-inflected ditty to sell fish, leading to a Warner Music video released in December (pictured).
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The Pakistani fishmonger whose melodic sales pitch at a London market went viral and landed him a record deal has received a hero's welcome on his return to his native eastern Pakistan.

Charismatic newcomer Muhammad Shahid Nazir also is denying reports that British authorities deported him, suggesting instead that the married father of four is preparing to take his show on the road.

Nazir is quoted as saying he has a visa but is in Pakistan to apply for a French visa to help promote his single after its release in France.

The most successful of the Youtube clips that vaulted Nazir to Internet notoriety -- showing "One-Pound-Fish Man" belting out his catchy Punjabi-inflected ditty to lure shoppers -- has attracted more than 6.7 million hits.

The slick Warner Music video that followed has gotten more than 8.2 million hits in the two weeks since its release on December 10.


Nazir's song has already reached number 29 on the Official U.K. Singles Chart.

Nazir's family and hometown are proud of his sudden fame.

Wife Kashifa -- who stayed in Pakistan along with their four children when Nazir went to the United Kingdom, reportedly to study business -- says she doesn't even mind his dancing with scantily clad girls in the music video. "I have no problem with this nor am I getting jealous. He performed the song and it was a requirement for the video," she told AFP.

His song and its infectious "Come on ladies, Come on ladies, One-pound fi-i-ish!" refrain can be heard across his dusty native town in eastern Punjab, Pattoki, where shops blast it from powerful speakers (see video).

Nazir's singing inspired the #onepoundfishman hashtag and his @Real1PoundFish Twitter handle has more than 32,000 followers.

-- Abubakar Siddique
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Written by RFE/RL editors and correspondents, Transmission serves up news, comment, and the odd silly dictator story. While our primary concern is with foreign policy, Transmission is also a place for the ideas -- some serious, some irreverent -- that bubble up from our bureaus. The name recognizes RFE/RL's role as a surrogate broadcaster to places without free media. You can write us at transmission+rferl.org

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